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Severe Vision Errors and Corrective Eye Surgery for Older People


If you are 40 or older or have severe vision problems, you may want to discuss these options with your eye surgeon:

  • Monovision. With this approach, LASIK may be used to correct one eye for distance vision and the other eye for near vision as a solution for presbyopia, a focusing problem that affects all people beginning at around age 40. However, some people cannot adjust to monovision. You might first consider wearing contact lenses providing monovision or trying it with "trial lenses" in your doctor's office, to make sure this approach works for you. CK also provides a type of monovision, but with a more full range of vision in the corrected eye.

  • ReStor (Alcon), ReZoom (Advanced Medical Optics), and Crystalens (Bausch & Lomb) are examples of multifocal and accommodating intraocular lenses for cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange.

Multifocal or Accommodating IOLs. If you choose this type of lens for a refractive lens exchange or cataract surgery, your eye's natural lens will be replaced permanently. These artificial lenses potentially can restore a full range of vision, but can also produce side effects such as decreased depth perception or night vision problems in the form of halos or glare. Also, you may still need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses or have a "laser touch-up," because it's possible the lenses will fall short of restoring a full range of vision. Be sure and discuss the pros and cons of these new lenses with your eye surgeon.


  • Vision Correction for Severe Nearsightedness or Farsightedness. LASIK, PRK, and other laser vision correction procedures do have their limitations and may not be the best option for you if you have severe nearsightedness or farsightedness. Some eye surgeons consider implantable lenses (Visian ICL and Verisyse) the best option for extreme nearsightedness. Refractive lens exchange, in which the eye's natural lens is replaced with an artificial one, is a possible option for extreme farsightedness.





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